Thunder Unlikely To Keep Paul George Next Season

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Thunder Unlikely To Keep Paul George Next Season

 

Paul George is just coming off his best game as a player of the Oklahoma City Thunder. In last night’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers, the former Pacer scored 42 points, adding 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. But PG13 on the Thunder could be a one-year thing.

With trading for George and Carmelo Anthony, the Oklahoma City Thunder generated the most noise and hype during this year’s offseason. Many NBA fans believe(d) that this team will have great chances of winning an NBA title. Playing with a new team, they had their expected rough start to the season. The Big 3 really do have to adapt to each other, which can take its time.

It isn’t all bad though, as the Thunder have been very impressive on the defensive end to start the season. The Thunder rank third in the league in points allowed.

But according to Adrian Wojnarowski, this year will be the only chance for a title this big 3 has. Both, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have their contracts expiring at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, and the team most likely won’t be able to afford keeping them both. If both players insist on coming back though, it would be tough for the Thunder as George and Anthony have player options for the 2018-19 season of $20.7 million and $27.9 million, which would lead to an insane amount of luxury tax to be paid.

On his latest podcast, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski spoke about this whole situation:

 

“If we’re being honest with ourselves, this is a one-year run with this team. They have one chance with this team because they cannot bring back this team together next year. Even if Paul George re-signs and says ‘I want to stay.’ Financially, it is impossible for this team, I don’t want to say remotely look the same, but the idea of Carmelo, Westbrook and George on the same roster withe Melo opting into his salary next year.”

 

Maybe George and the Thunder spoke about this whole situation prior to the trade, and may even have agreed upon it being a one year thing. George’s plan has always been to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times wrote:

 

“According to people not authorized to speak publicly, George, a Palmdale native, is still telling friends that he intends to be a Laker in 2018”

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